Finally I managed to add another node to my ethnography of improvisation in Portugal. I had the great pleasure of visiting “gnrations“. For those who don’t know it, it’s an incredibly vibrant art space. The space was in fact the former home to the National Republican Guard (Portuguese: Guarda Nacional Republicana), and, for the last few years, has served as a space for promoting all kinds of artistic activities. It has a fantastic gallery space (sponsored by the nearby located International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the INL, an intergovernmental organisation to promote interdisciplinary research in Nanotechnology and Nanoscience).
gnrations also has a variety of outdoor performance and cinema spaces and on the top floors it houses several young start-up companies (yes, the Google types of the north of Portugal – complete with table tennis, and cool hang-out spaces to inspire creative minds!)
gnrations is, at present, one of the only spaces that programs more experimental kinds of music. It aims to attract and build, through community outreach and educational porgrams, new audiences, by exposing them to current national and international artistic practices.
I spoke to the Artistic Director, Luís Fernandes, himself and improviser and fan of free improvisation. You can find his video interview is under the Video Tab on my blog.